THE return of the Cork City Sports is fast approaching and the men's Shot Putt is sure to be one of the highlights with many European National Champions represented.
The Cork City sports will make its comeback after a two-year absence due to the Coronavirus pandemic and this will be the 69th edition of the event, taking place on the 5th of July at the MTU stadium in Bishopstown.
The Shot Putt is just one of the eagerly anticipated events taking place where the new Irish National Champion John Kelly and National record holder Eric Favors will be in the mix in a tight competition.
Kelly and Favors shared the rostrum at this weekend’s National Championships with a 19.25 Championship record, set by Kelly, and 18.74 by Favors who is still probably jet lagged from his trip from the US.
The big name in this event will be Nick Ponzio who represents Italy but lives in the US. Ponzio has thrown consistently over 21m this year and is a colourful character on the athletics circuit who will go down well with the Cork crowd.
He is ranked thirteenth in the world at the moment while Bob Bertemes, the Luxemburg National Record holder who has a PB of 22.22, is making a return to the big time after competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Scott Lincoln is returning to the Cork City Sports for the third time as the British National Champion throwing 20.40 yesterday ahead of Youcef Zatat who is also returning to Cork for the third time.
Rounding out the field are Sven Poelmann from the Netherlands and Christian Zimmermann, the German number two, and Andrew Liskowitz, a finalist at the US trials at the weekend.
It is sure to be a close-run battle as will the 200 metres following confirmation recently that Clarence Munyai had become the latest star name to announce his participation in the City sports.
Munyai is a huge name in the sport and he has a personal best of 19.69 seconds which was a new South African record and it made him one of a very rare breed of athletes to have broken the magical 20 seconds barrier.
He is also the current African record holder in the 4x100m and a finalist at the World Championships.
His opposition will include the top three on the current Irish ranking list Robert McDonnell, Marcus Lawler, and Leon Reid.
McDonnell recently set a national U23 record of 20.51 and all three are ranked in the top four on the Irish all-time list.
Other competitors in the field include Simon Hansen from Denmark, Solomon Bockarie from the Netherlands, and Thomas Sommers and Andy Morgan-Harrisson from the UK.